How to Write a Polite Job Rejection Letter or Email: Examples and Writing Tips

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Declining an Application

Candidate rejection is a necessary part of the hiring process for any organization. It can be difficult for both the employer and the job applicant, as it can be disappointing to be told that you weren’t selected for a position. However, it’s important to remember that refusal isn’t a reflection of the candidate's worth or abilities, but simply a decision made by the employer based on the needs and qualifications of the company.

How to Write a Refusal Letter? Best Practices for Rejecting Applicants

Here are some tips for writing a respectful rejection letter to a candidate:

  • Start by thanking the candidate for their interest in the position and for taking the time to apply. Example: "Thank you for your interest in the position of Marketing Manager and for taking the time to apply."
  • Mention that the decision was difficult and that many qualified applicants applied. Example: "We had a large number of highly qualified candidates apply for this position, making the decision difficult."
  • Provide specific feedback on the candidate's qualifications and explain why they weren’t selected for the position. Example: "While your qualifications and experience are impressive, we ultimately felt that another candidate's experience in the specific field aligns better with the needs of the company."
  • Encourage the aspirant to apply for future opportunities and to keep in touch. Example: "We would like to encourage you to apply for future opportunities with our company and to keep in touch with us."
  • Close the letter or email with a professional closing such as "Sincerely" or "Best Regards" and provide your contact information.

You May Also be Interested in Our Sample Letter to Invite the Applicant to a Job Interview

Need to Craft a Rejection Letter for Unsuccessful Applicants: Our Free Templates

Example for Responding to a Job Inquiry with No Available Positions

Dear (name),

We would like to thank you for recently applying for the advertised position as (name of position) with (name of company).

I regret to inform you that due to an overly large amount of applicants who were interested in the position, the opportunity was filled within the first few days of the advertisement being posted in (name of publication) and your letter arrived well after we had already taken our decision.

Your resume/C.V however is very impressive and you seem like the type of person that we love to employ and have as an integral part of our team.

We have filled your information with our H.R department and should any other vacancy come up in the near future, we will be in touch.

Please do not hesitate to re-apply for any future opportunities with us even if you have not heard from us.

Good luck in your current job search,

Kind regards

(name, Position, contact details)

Notifying the Candidate of their Unsuccessful Job Application

Subject: Decision on Your Job Application for the [Position] Role

Dear [Candidate's Name],

I hope this email finds you well. I am writing to inform you that we have concluded our selection process for the [Position] role at [Company Name]. I want to thank you for taking the time to interview with us and for your interest in our company.

The decision was not an easy one, as we received many qualified applications. We were impressed with your skills, qualifications, and experience, and we appreciate the time and effort you put into your application.

However, after careful consideration, we have decided to move forward with another candidate whose qualifications better align with the specific needs of the position. We understand that this news may be disappointing, and we want to assure you that this decision is not a reflection of your abilities or worth as a candidate.

We would like to encourage you to apply for future opportunities with our company and to keep in touch. We value your interest in our organization and your skills and experience may be a good fit for other roles in the future.

Thank you again for your interest in our company and for your time during the interview process. We wish you the best of luck in your job search.


[Your Name]

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